A Clean Slate

Even though hedge funds as a group lost 19% in 2008, they beat equities by a far sight (recall that the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index was off 37% last year). However, the hedge fund industry is going through a major retrenchment nonetheless: Hedge Fund Research (HFR) reports that investors withdrew $300 billion of assets last year, about twice what they lost in market value.

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